Friday, November 4, 2011

2010-2011 General Assembly Expense Report

During my campaign for House of Delegates last year in District 31 I put our Republican officials under the microscope. It is easy for Republicans in this state to issue press releases bashing the Democrats on fiscal matters but it is quite another to lead by example on these issues. Due to the close proximity of District 31 to Annapolis I decided to take a look at the expense reports of our officials. I decided from 2007-2010 that our delegation had spent entirely too much on meals, lodging, and gas expenses during their time in Annapolis. I eventually wrote a Letter to the Editor in The Capital about these findings. In their defense, Delegate Don Dwyer said it wasn't feasible to claim an official could go through a session without claiming reimbursement on some of their expenses. Delegate Nic Kipke did a good job dodging the issue and said it was necessary to stay in Annapolis during session to build relationships with his Democratic colleagues. The only one who actually put forth a full argument in defense of these expenses was Delegate Steve Schuh. He replied to my Letter to the Editor by stating it was easier to stay overnight due to certain late-night sessions as well as there not being a cafeteria in the General Assembly for the officials to use. While all 3 delegates may have put forth valid arguments according to their strong supporters they still did not give a reason as to why these expenditures couldn't be covered by the base salary of $43,500 for the position. For those who serve in leadership roles or on certain committees, there is an increase in salary. Keep in mind these officials also have regular jobs throughout the year providing a salary on top of the salary we pay them in order to represent them. For the record I decided to bring this issue up again this year because of citizen complaints that our officials had once again used taxpayer dollars to mail out their "achievements" during the previous session. Listed below are the figures from 2010 to 2011 from each of District 31's elected officials. It is interesting after their 2007-2010 term where they seemed to have sought reimbursement on every penny they spent serving us, this past session after having the frivolous spending revealed to the public, they all decreased their reimbursement requests by noticeable amounts.


Delegate Don Dwyer (R-31)
2010 Meals Session
$2,633.63
2010 Mileage Session
$1,260.00

2011 Meal Session
$714.00
2011 Mileage Session
$346.80


Delegate Nic Kipke (R-31)
2010 Lodging Session
$2,999.90
2010 Meals Session
$2,730.00
2010 Mileage Session
$738.00

2011 Lodging Session
$200.00
2011 Meal Session
$1,176.00
2011 Mileage Session
$477.36


Delegate Steve Schuh (R-31)
2010 Lodging Session
$3,240.00
2010 Meals Session
$2,772.00
2010 Mileage Session
$760.00

2011 Lodging Session
$400.00
2011 Meal Session
$840.00
2011 Mileage Session
$310.08


Senator Bryan Simonaire (R-31)
2010 Meals Session
$2,604.00
2010 Mileage Session
$944.00

2011 Meal Session
$756.00
2011 Mileage Session
$293.76


For the viewers interested in expenses by officials other than those in District 31 please let us know and we can email you the entire General Assembly list.

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